Date: 16th July 2008 at 1:06pm
Written by:

VITAL Burnley and Todmorden News journalist, Martyn Robinson brings you his view of the game in Minnesota on Tuesday evening and thoughts leading up to the new campaign.

As the clock ticked on last night to reach 12:30am, I thought of the Carolina RailHawks game and wondered if it really was worth staying up beyond 3am to watch a team lacking in fitness to be given the run around by the American opposition.

But this time it was a different story thankfully, as the Clarets I have to say were a lot better than at Carolina four days earlier and there were a number of encouraging signs to come from it.

The first was Christian Kalvenez who made his first start in the Claret and Blue of Burnley and I have to say, hats off to Owen Coyle, he looks a fantastic signing already. Sat in front of my laptop I saw how the Norweigen left back would fit in excellently to our team and in my opinion could go on to be a massive hit in the Championship.

There was a lot of fuss after Jon Harley left, as he had been fantastic the season before, but I think that he looked better going forward and even showed the confidence to beat his man instead of pumping the ball forward straight away.

Kevin McDonald and Chris McCann again looked a solid and reliable partnership in the centre of midfield and they along with Remco van der Schaaf, who missed the victory over Minnesota with injury, would be a great thing for this football club.

I also think that our youth players need a special mention as I think all three were outstanding in their own rights last night, as Jay Rodriguez, Alex MacDonald and Adam Kay got appearances at the National Soccer Stadium.

Rodriguez of course scored in the dying minutes of the game following a fantastic break down the right hand side by 18-year-old MacDonald who could be a good player in seasons to come operating the wings.

Music and Commentators…

Alright, cast your minds back to the Carolina game and that bloody music that played every time play was stopped for a; free kick, throw in, goal kick, corner… Well, who thought a football club could find a more annoying version of that? Certainly not me.

But I was wrong.

Minnesota’s PA announcer would have had his microfone cut off if I was over in America last night, giving his running commentary in the space where the music was played in the last game.

‘Free kick FC Burnley, Brian Jensen to take this one’, is there really any need? ‘Yellow card for FC Burnley’s Wade Elliott’, I would seriously stay at home if I was a football supporter in the USA.

Goalkeeping Situation…

I have to put this in my column, well played Brian Jensen! It seems as though he is constantly ripped into on Burnley messageboards, and especially after news broke that Diego Penny would not be playing in the game.

He made some good stops last night including a point blank save from a powerful header. So well played Beast.

Penny is being touted as the out and out number one, but I wouldn’t be 100% sure like some are thinking. Jensen will put up a good fight for that stop and he is an excellent shot stopper so don’t count anything out.

So, ‘Burnley won 2 – zipp’ in Minnesota last night in what was a decent performance from the Clarets. Roll on the Scottish tour.



Martyn Robinson
Todmorden News & Vital Burnley Co-Editor